Toyota Ultra-Compact BEV is a tiny electric car for tiny Japanese streets

18 October 2019 - Autoblog

Toyota Ultra-Compact BEV is a tiny electric car for tiny Japanese streets

Toyota enters the city car EV world with a tiny splash

Behold: The electric Toyota city "car" of the future. However, the "car" isn't much bigger than a golf cart. It's called the Ultra-Compact BEV, and Toyota isn't kidding around about it being small. Set to make its debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota says this car was designed to provide a mobility solution to Japan's aging population. It's capable of supporting regular short-distance trips, a use Toyota believes will perfectly capture the elderly, newly-licensed drivers and visiting business people.

"Short-distance" is the operative phrasing in Toyota's press release, as the Ultra-Compact will launch with a 62-mile range. Top speed is a blistering 37 mph, so you better be sticking to those city streets. At this point, it's extremely obvious that the Toyota Ultra-Compact will not be coming to America, and I don't think many of us will be too bummed out about that either. To no one's surprise, a 0-30 mph acceleration time was not released.

Toyota was rather tight-lipped about other features or amenities in the tiny EV, but did make mention of the "extremely short turning radius." We'd expect as much given its miniscule size. According to Toyota's brief spec sheet, the Ultra-Compact is 98 inches long. That means you could line up two of them nose-to-nose, and they'd just be a hair longer than a Camry. For further comparison, the beloved Honda E is 153 inches in length — we think that car is the ideal form factor for city transportation.

Charging the Ultra-Compact from 0 to 100 percent takes five hours on a 200-volt charger. There's no fast-charging capability specified for the time being. The car will be on Toyota's stand at this year's Tokyo Motor Show and on Japanese streets by winter of 2020.

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